Riley's Fruit Tree Pruning

My name is Raymond Riley. I am a
Jamaican native and Maine resident living
with my wife in Washington, Maine. I
learned how to prune apple trees in New
York seventeen years ago and have been
pruning every winter since.  I am
currently pruning for several orchards but
would like you to know that I am
available.  I charge based on the tree's size
and condition, anywhere from $2.00 to
$6.50 per tree. Call or email me and we
can arrange for a free estimate.   
207-845-2907
Why Prune Apple Trees

Generally, fruit trees are pruned to develop a desired tree shape, to maintain the tree at a
desired size, to make spraying easier, to improve fruit quality, to improve tree strength and
induce branching, and to improve air circulation within the tree, which will reduce the
potential for disease.

Apple trees thrive in full sun.  They need a lot of light to form fruit buds and to set fruit. A
tree casts a shadow on itself, so part of its canopy may be in full shade which is bad for fruit
production.  Pruning will increase flowering and enhance red color because it eliminates
some of the shading.

Many people move to new homes where the previous owners had planted fruit trees. If the
owner did not properly care for the trees, the results are large ungainly giants that are
completely out of control and are an unsightly mess. In other instances, people move into
old farmhouses where trees were planted thirty or forty years ago. These too, if they have
been neglected, are large and difficult to maintain. In many cases, these old trees can be
brought back to a more manageable state. The primary means of renovating older trees is
through judicious and properly selected pruning cuts. Apple and pear trees are most easily
renovated.  Complete renovation of neglected apple trees may take 2 or 3 years.

* Free estimate.

* Excellence in fruit tree pruning comes only from years of experience.

* Pruning correctly improves fruit quality and increases the value of the crop

* Pruning increases fruit size because of the replacement of old branches with new
ones.

* Pruning increases fruit size because it reduces the number of fruit buds on the tree.

* Fruit trees need annual pruning in order to maintain shape and production.  
Sticking with someone you like ensures consistency.


Prune Before Spring

The best time to prune is before warm weather sets in.  Pruning is a process of directing
growth in the way you want it to go. It is important to get it done in the winter, when all
the tree's energy is still stored in the roots and the stems, waiting to be set loose by the
coming of spring.

This also helps your tree get a healthy start: The pruning cuts will have a chance to begin
healing before the bugs and disease common in warm weather arrive.  Incorrect pruning can
induce 'bleeding' where the rising sap weeps from the tree.  This can severely stress the tree,
disrupting its' natural balance at a very important time.

Will I Get More Fruit?

NO PRUNER CAN GUARANTEE FRUIT PRODUCTION.  FRUIT PRODUCTION IS IN THE
CONTROL OF MOTHER NATURE.  HOWEVER, A KNOWLEDGEABLE FRUIT TREE
PRUNER CAN HELP TO PUSH THE TREES TOWARD MORE FRUIT OR LESS, LARGER
FRUIT.

Raymond Riley
230 West Washington Rd
Washington,Maine 04574
207-845-2907